CLEVELAND — As the Cleveland Division of Police continues to mourn the death of Officer Shane Bartek, members of the community came together Thursday to provide support to his comrades.
The City of Cleveland Community Relations Board was joined by several community groups for a lunch and prayer held at the Fifth District police station where Bartek was assigned.
Among those gathered in the small lunchroom was Bartek's partner, Officer Neil Hawkins. "He needs special feelings and understanding," Cleveland Pastor Jimmy Gates said of Hawkins during the event. "We don't know how he feels, but we're going to pray that God exercises special care and appreciation for your work you have done in this community."
Cleveland's Interim Director of Community Relations Grady Stevenson and Anti-violence activist Yvonne Pointer were also on hand at the luncheon. They thanked the officers for their work and pledged to help them make the streets safer. "We just want you to know in the community we love you and we appreciate you," Pointer told officers.
Since Officer Bartek's death, community leaders have also been raising money for the Cleveland Police Heroes Fund to help his family with funeral and other expenses. The 25-year-old Bartek was fatally shot on New Year's Eve while off-duty in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 4300 block of Rocky River Drive. He was a two-year veteran with the Cleveland Division of Police.
Organizations who took part in the support event on Thursday included The Jeff Brown Show, Hope Haven, the Urban League of Greater Cleveland Guild, and McDonald’s.
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